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Legally Reducing Dog Attacks
Britain proposes mandatory microchips and liability insurance

Earlier this month, the British government announced a proposal that would require people to buy microchips and liability insurance for their pups. With dog attack lawsuits on the rise, the British government hopes that microchips will help match dangerous dogs to the people responsible for them and that insurance will ensure that victims can be compensated.

People who oppose the new proposal say that the requirement would be the equivalent of a “dog tax,” punishing responsible pet lovers and reducing the number of families for homeless pups. Others are worried about breed discrimination, with insurance premiums skyrocketing for bully breeds.

I’m all for mandatory microchipping, since it’s relatively inexpensive and helps bring lost pets home, but liability insurance can get pricey, particularly for those with multiple dogs. I’d hate to think that responsible pet lovers would be forced to cut back on other expenses, like buying quality food, to afford monthly insurance premiums. 

Microchips and insurance may make it easier to identify irresponsible people, but it’s misguided to think it’s going to reduce the danger of aggressive dogs. That can only be achieved through education.

What do you think about mandatory microchipping and liability insurance?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Thumbnail image: iStockphoto.

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